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The US Census and Secondary Data Sources

The US Census and Secondary Data Sources

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The US Census and Secondary Data Sources

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  1. The US Census and Secondary Data Sources

  2. Secondary Data • Data that someone has collected, collated, or analyzed • The US Government provides many secondary data sources • Environmental Protection Agency • Department of the Interior • Housing and Urban Development • Department of Agriculture • Department of Commerce • Health and Human Services • International agencies • the United Nations • Amnesty International

  3. Secondary Data • Inexpensive – often free • Widely available and accessible • Thoroughly studied • You do not ask the questions or determine the contents • You are never really sure how it is collected • Is an imperfect proxy for what you want to measure • BE CAREFUL

  4. CensusHistory Census mandated in the constitution: “[An] Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.” Article 1, Section 2

  5. CensusHistory • Controlling law is Title 13 of the US Code. Title 13 : • determines how often counts are to be made and when they are available (also known as enumeration) is found in 13 USC 141. • sets fines for failure to respond ($100, which was raised from $20 in 1970s). Although this has never been enforced. • mandates a mid-decade census

  6. CensusHistory – Government Uses • Redistricting—drawing boundaries for Congressional, legislative, etc. districts • Distribution of federal funds • Site location • Marketing • Program needs planning • Demographic change research

  7. CensusHistory – Government Uses • Census Is Controversial • It moves power: • Congressional reapportionment • Congressional, state legislative redistricting • redistricting of many elective bodies--city councils, school boards, etc. • It moves money: • Over 100 federal programs that allocate $400 billion/year have census counts in some part of formulae

  8. CensusHistory – Census is always changing • Original census counted slaves (“other persons”) as 3/5 of a person. This was changed in the 14th ammendment. • Slavery last asked in 1860 • Feeble-minded in 1840-1890 • Income first asked in 1940 • Televisions surveyed, 1950-70 • Detailed ancestry beginning 1980 • Multiple races and grandparents as caregivers in 2000 • Questions are passed by congress as law

  9. CensusHistory Grid of questions available at http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/census2/censubj.pdf

  10. CensusPractical Applications • Public health professionals identify vulnerable populations for chronic disease • Urban planners identify zoning, housing, sewage, and transportation issues • Social workers conduct needs assessments for services to the elderly, poor, children

  11. CensusPractical Applications • Marketers target likely buyers • Politicians use the census to determine voting districts and to assess constituent interests • Environmentalists map the spread of toxic effluents and population densities

  12. CensusPractical Applications • Occupation by age, race, and sex for equal employment opportunity • Librarians base collection development policy on community characteristics • Mayors use numbers to apply for federal grants. • Undercount costs money – the reason for lawsuits • Racial minorities and undocumented aliens • Should missionaries be counted as U.S. residents

  13. CensusCollection Method - Basic Enumeration Mail Campaign (alerting postcard, the census form, note of thanks). Expect about 60% - 70% response rate Delivered to about 80% of respondants via USPS For most of remaining 20%, census worker left a copy of the census For remaining either used special methods, or collected in person

  14. CensusCollection Method - Basic Enumeration • Service based enumeration – homeless people and people using shelters • Group Quarters enumeration • Transient Night (T-Night) enumeration – People living “mobile lifestyle” (campgrounds at racetracks, public and private campgrounds, fairs and carnivals, marinas) • Remote Alaskan enumeration • Domestic military enumeration • Overseas enumeration

  15. CensusCollection Method – NonresponseFollowup (NRFU) • Sent census workers to collect responses at non-responsding addresses • Visited addresses where questions were returned without data • Visited buildings that were previously reported as nonexistent or vacant

  16. CensusCollection Method - Undercount • The census cannot count everybody. • The difference between the actual number of people and the number of people the census bureau counts is called the undercount. • There are some people who simply will not answer census questions. Many of whom simply do not trust the enumerators (census workers). • Nonresponders are disproportionately poor and members of a minority group. • The census bureau is trying to estimate the total number through sampling.

  17. CensusCollection Method – Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation (ACE) • Create Interactive Coverage Measurement (ICM) a “second” census of 750,000 housing units from around the country • Match and compare ICM with enumerated census • Make an estimate of undercounts and errors using Dual System Estimation (DSE) Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation is the Census Bureau’s process for estimating the undercount using sampling methods. There are three basic steps:

  18. 2010 Census Changes • No long form this census (asked for detailed social and economic information) • Previous long form information will be collected through the American Community Survey on a 1-year or 3-year cycle depending on the size of the community.

  19. 2010 American Community Survey Questions

  20. 2010 American Community Survey Questions

  21. 2010 American Community Survey Questions

  22. 2010 American Community Survey Questions

  23. 2010 American Community Survey Questions

  24. 2010 American Community Survey Questions

  25. 2010 American Community Survey Questions

  26. 2010 American Community Survey Questions

  27. 2010 American Community Survey Questions

  28. CensusShort Form • Distributed to 100% of households • 10 Questions about: • Age • Sex • Race (Multiple) • Hispanic origin • Household relationship • Owner vs. renter occupied housing

  29. 2010 Short Form Questions

  30. 2010 Short Form Questions

  31. 2010 Short Form Questions

  32. 2010 Short Form Questions

  33. 2010 Short Form Questions

  34. 2010 Short Form Questions

  35. 2010 Short Form Questions

  36. 2010 Short Form Questions

  37. 2010 Short Form Questions

  38. 2010 Short Form Questions

  39. 2010 State Apportionment • The first data released from the 2010 Census are the official national and state population counts, which are used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

  40. 2010 Census Operational Milestones • Form delivery and Mail Back Phase (3/1 – 4/16/2010) • Door-to-Door Follow-Up Phase (5/1 – 7/10/10) • Quality Assurance Operations (4/11 – 9/3/10) • Complete Questionnaire Data Capture & Processing (5/10 – 12/20/10) • 2010 Population Counts Reported (12/31/10)

  41. 2000 CensusShort Form – Same Sex Couples “In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife.” 1996 Defense of Marriage Act

  42. 2000 CensusShort Form – Same Sex Couples • How the Census Bureau Calculates number of same sex couples: • Collect information on the sex of everybody in the household • Relationships of everybody in the household • If two responses as “husband/wife” or “umarried partner” they counted as same sex couple

  43. 2000 CensusLong Form • Distributed to 1/6 people (appx 16.5%) • Includes 52 questions on 34 subjects • Personal subject areas include • Social • Economic • Housing subject areas include • Physical • Financial

  44. 2000 CensusDistribution • FTP – File Transfer Protocol • AFF – American Fact Finder • DVD – Order DVD or CD ROM from the census bureau • Private Data Repackagers– Combine and make it “easier” to use

  45. 2000 CensusDistribution

  46. 2000 CensusPublic Use Microdata Samples • 5% or 1% sample of individual responses to census data (micro data) • Create your own tables using raw data • Value of 2 bedroom, hispanic owned houses • Education, occupation and citizenship status of people born in Senegal • Larger geographies • Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs)

  47. Census GeographyLegal Areas • Nation • State • Counties • Cities • Townships • Congressional Districts • School Districts • Native American Reservations

  48. Census GeographyCensus Designated Areas • Metropolitan Statistical Area • Urbanized Area and Urban Cluster • Census Tract • Block Group • Block • Zip Code Tabulation Area • PUMAS/Super-PUMAS • Traffic Analysis Zones

  49. Census GeographyMain Hierarchy

  50. Census GeographySmall Area Geographies